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Organisers in U-turn over US Open wheelchair tennis championships

Organisers in U-turn over US Open wheelchair tennis championships
15th July 2020 Ian Streets

Top wheelchair tennis players have welcomed the U-turn which means the sport will now take place after all at the US Open.
Sky reported that criticism from players and officials mounted after organisers were criticised for excluding it from their initial plans.
The report quoted International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons as saying the decision had left a lot of competitors “rightly upset and angered”.
It added that Scotland’s Paralympic champion Gordon Reid had criticised a complete lack of consultation after discovering the decision on social media.
Sky quoted a statement from tournament organisers which read: “The 2020 US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition will be held in its traditional place on the US Open calendar at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center this September.
“This decision was made following multiple virtual meetings with a group of wheelchair athletes and the International Tennis Federation over the last week.
“The 2020 US Open Wheelchair Competition will feature men’s and women’s singles and doubles events and quad singles and doubles events, all with draw sizes similar to past US Opens. Wheelchair athletes will follow the same health and safety procedures as all players participating in the US Open.”
Sky reported that the wheelchair tournament will run from 10¬-13 September and players will have access to the Center from 7 September.
Australian Paralympic tennis champion Dylan Alcott tweeted: “Big thanks to the US Open for reversing their decision – now allowing wheelchair players to compete at the 2020 Open.
“And most importantly thanks to you reading this for supporting us and sharing the message – you made this happen.”
Alcott, who won the 2015 and 2018 wheelchair singles titles at Flushing Meadows and is the reigning doubles champion, told Sky that players had not been consulted and posed no greater health threat than able-bodied entrants.
According to Sky he tweeted: “I thought I did enough to qualify – 2x champion, number 1 in the world. But unfortunately I missed the only thing that mattered, being able to walk. Disgusting discrimination.”

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